Un ciel bleu presque parfait (A Nearly Perfect Blue Sky) (2016) [Horrible Imaginings Film Festival 2017]

Following an accident, a brother takes care of his paraplegic sister while preparing for the arrival of other beings.

This film by artist Quarxx is one of those that must be seen. The story is well-developed and done in just about the perfect way. The way the story approaches multiple issues including gun violence, disability, the burden of taking care of a loved one, and others is tactful and done with care. The script approaches these issues in respectful ways while also given them the room to be properly shown and have their effects be clear. The writing and directing brings these to the forefront while still letting the film be about the people and how these things affect them.

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Transmission (2017) [Horrible Imaginings Film Festival 2017]

A man is kept captive; his captor both tortures him and spoils him. What does he want? Why is he doing this?

Written and directed by Tom Hancock and Varun Raman, this short has more questions than it gives answers, creating an odd mystery as it entertains with its proceedings. The two leads are used as nemesis in a way and the story unfolds as an odd game of captor/captive that seems to be going to a definite ending but turns out to be something else entirely. The film’s story keeps most of its action in one location and uses this location to its maximum potential. The small cast actually helps the story in creating a sort of intimate chaos.

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Level (2017) [Horrible Imaginings Film Festival 2017]

A man stuck in a warehouse looks for a way out in what looks to be a never-ending game of cat and mouse.

Written and directed by Andrew Hunt, the film takes the simple premise of a man stuck in a warehouse and turns it on its head a bit having him question life and the reasons why he is stuck there. The film explores this while not really giving any answers. The ending to this makes the film and as thus will not be spoiled. The writing and directing do are what make this short film work so well along with the acting.

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That’s Final (2017) [Horrible Imaginings Film Festival 2017]

Two women argue as to which of them will be the final girl when a masked killer is after them in their home.

Written by Christine Gatlin and David Raines and directed by John Freeman, this short takes the slasher genre and spins it on its head. The killer here is completely ridiculous but that’s the point, in part, as it’s not about the killer but about the three, then two, women running from him and how they discuss the situation and try to figure out which of them is to become the final girl. The discussion is witty and funny with a sense of humor that will appeal to fans of films like Scream and horror in general. The film’s short format really works to its advantage here as the “joke” is just long enough without overstaying its welcome. The film itself is thus quite entertaining, funny, and just a bit bloody.

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Yesterday is Tomorrow (2017) [Horrible Imaginings Film Festival 2017]

A mourning woman must confront her past and her dreams as they begin blurring and causing her much pain.

Written and directed by James C. Shahanshah, this short takes on issues of grieving, regret, sadness, depression, and other mental issues. It tackles them fairly upfront and manages to make a film that is touching and emotional while also not over-doing any of it. The subtlety of the film and how it proceeds with the emotions at hand works great for this type of situation and message. The film does not skirt any part of the issues at hand, but it also does not go for too bluntly which is something that takes a mastering of storytelling and directing clearly shown here from James C. Shahanshah. He gives his leading lady the spotlight and doesn’t force the gaze upon her but more like lets it rest upon her emotions. The film layers the lead’s emotions to create something that becomes heavier and heavier as the runtime moves forward.

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Nocturnally Yours (2017) [Philadelphia Unnamed Film Festival 2017]

After his untimely death on the night of his engagement, a man haunts his love until he finds a way to visit her in the “flesh”.

Nocturnally Yours is the sixth title on writer/director David Ferino’s IMDB resume.  Here he creates a darkly funny story of love that transcends death, of a man who is not ready to move on and a woman who is not ready to let go finding a way to reconnect that turns absolutely hilarious.  The story is wrong on quite a few levels, yet is so entertaining.  The film takes this crazy idea, runs with it, and succeeds in making something that should make people with a dark or twisted sense of humor laugh out loud.  The story is well told, the humor is on point, and the way it’s all delivered makes for a fun few minutes.

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The Reunion (2016) [Horrible Imaginings Film Festival 2017]

A man goes into the woods looking for a missing young man with his trusted gun and his will to find him.  What he finds turns out differently than planned.

In filmmaker Francisco Silva’s short film about a man looking for something in the woods and finding out much more than he expected, he explores what one may find on the other side of the darkness and that is may not always be what one expects.  The way the film is written brings horror elements to this story and creates an interesting mystery with a surprising ending.  The film is kept simple in story and dialog as well as setting and development.

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